Understanding Wild Turkey and Northern Bobwhite Populations in Arkansas
Jeremy Wood, Turkey Program Coordinator, AR Game & Fish Commission
Marcus Asher, Quail Program Coordinator, AR Game & Fish Commission
Northern Bobwhite populations in Arkansas have been on a steady decline for several decades due to loss of suitable habitat across much of the state. Similarly, despite restoring Eastern Wild Turkey populations to their peak across Arkansas by the early 2000s, there appears to have been a steady population decline since 2003 indicated by declining harvests. Despite turkeys being a generalist, they require similar habitats for nesting and brood rearing as quail. Learn why populations have declined, what AGFC is doing to reverse these trends, and how birders can help AGFC monitor populations to inform future management.
Jeremy Wood started with AGFC in August 2018 as the Turkey Program Coordinator. Prior to moving to Arkansas, he was the Assistant Wild Turkey Program Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission from 2017-2018. He received his MS in Forest Resources at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, and BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine. Between degrees, Jeremy worked across the country with numerous species including the Snail Kite, American Oystercatcher, Belted Kingfisher, and Brown Pelican.
Marcus Asher has been with AGFC over four years, three of which he has served as the state’s Quail Program Coordinator. Before that he was area manager for St. Francis Sunkenlands WMA. He previously worked for Missouri Department of Conservation as a private lands conservationist, and for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Soil Conservation Technician. During and after graduation from Arkansas State University, Marcus worked on songbird banding, and on Northern Bobwhite and Greater Sage Grouse projects.